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Lewis Hamilton beat teammate Nico Rosberg to pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix, as Mercedes secured the front row of the Montreal grid.
Rosberg leads Hamilton by 24 points at the top of the drivers’ standings.
Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari were unable to match the Silver Arrows machines at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve but the four-time champion took third place, with teammate Kimi Raikkonen back in a somewhat disappointing sixth.
Daniel Ricciardo went fourth fastest to beat Max Verstappen in the battle of the Red Bulls, and the Australian may well have bettered Vettel if not for clipping the wall on the exit of the final chicane on his pivotal run.
Behind Raikkonen, the fourth row will be filled by the Williams cars, with Valtteri Bottas having edged Felipe Massa by a tenth of a second.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was ninth quickest, ahead of McLaren man Fernando Alonso.
Rosberg had topped the Q1 timesheets, with the Renaults, Manors and Saubers eliminated.
The so-called Wall of Champions at the exit of the final chicane claimed the scalp of Carlos Sainz early in Q2, before teammate Daniil Kvyat was unable to provide Toro Rosso with a representative in the shootout.
A fine effort from Alonso managed to get McLaren into Q3, and Jenson Button would likely have joined his teammate in the last segment if not for a lock-up late in his final flying lap, while Hamilton secured top spot.
The English Mercedes driver, after winning the opening Q3 battle with Rosberg, failed to improve on his second run but the German aborted his final attempt, ensuring pole for Hamilton.
The current champion currently appears to have the edge on his teammate, and a win on Sunday for Hamilton will further increase the pressure on Rosberg and reduce the gap in the race for 2016 World Championship honours to 17 points, assuming that the German finishes second to the former McLaren man.
Canadian Grand Prix qualifying results
Pos. Driver, Team, Q1 time, Q2 time, Q3 time
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:14.121, 1:13.076, 1:12.812
2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:13.714, 1:13.094, 1:12.874
3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:13.925, 1:13.857, 1:12.990
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:14.030, 1:13.540, 1:13.166
5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:14.601, 1:13.793, 1:13.414
6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:14.477, 1:13.849, 1:13.579
7. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:14.389, 1:13.791, 1:13.670
8. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:14.815, 1:13.864, 1:13.769
9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:14.663, 1:14.166, 1:13.952
10. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:15.026 1:14.260 1:14.338
11. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:14.814, 1:14.317, -
12. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:14.755, 1:14.437, -
13. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:14.829, 1:14.457, - (receives grid penalty; relegated to 15th)
14. Esteban Gutierrez Haas, 1:15.148, 1:14.571, -
15. Romain Grosjean, Haas, 1:15.444, 1:14.803, -
16. Carlos Sainz Junior, Toro Rosso, 1:14.714, 1:21.956, - (receives grid penalty; relegated to 20th)
17. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:15.459, -, -
18. Pascal Wehrlein Manor, 1:15.599, -, -
19. Marucs Ericsson, Sauber, 1:15.635, -, - (receives grid penalty; relegated to 21st)
20. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:16.663, -, -
21. Rio Haryanto Manor, 1:17.052, -, -
22. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, -, -, -